Saturday, September 16, 2006

B'day - Beyonce

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There is something strangely reassuring about an ablum with only 10 tracks. In a world where Kelis seems happy with 18 tracks, and Christina Aguillera gives us a 22 track opus which is at least 12 tracks too long (I myself would argue it's probably about 21 tracks too long) it's nice that one diva can show some form of restraint.

And the result is something of a rarity in the modern pop world; an album that is fairly strong throughout and shows little signs of the fillers one is almost resigned to these days.

Despite the fact that in the video to Deja Vu it's a little strange to see Beyonce (who after all is the "lead singer" on the song) writhing around Jay-Z, the hip hop maestro lends a hand on two of the best tracks, the afformentioned Deja Vu and the quite brilliant Upgrade U. Both show Beyonce at her best.

The other highlights include The Neptunes produced Green Light and the incendiary Freakum Dress (and give it a few months and women across the world will be talking about their own "Freakum" dresses). Suga Man is also a great track with a funky vibe.

Sure there is one moment that makes Aguillera seems almost ego-free; "I can do for you what Marvin did for the people" (in Upgrade U) is surely a lyric that at the very least in in poor taste and misguided. And I still can't really get over why someone at the record label didn't decide that "B'day" was a bad title.

Still this is a good album which has as many higlights as Dangerously In Love and, crucially, virutally none of the filler that ruined that one as a cohesive whole. I have to say, against all the odds, I'm quite impressed with this.

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